How attention flows on the web
The whole article I’ve taken the above quote from is great.
“BuzzFeed is a tech company. One which is wholly focused on aggregrating a mass audience. It has no other value beyond that.”
I’d disagree that Buzzfeed have a mass ‘audience’ however. They have massive ‘traffic’ in the ephemeral sense of visitors coming and going but I wonder if this is an audience in the sense of people deliberately choosing Buzzfeed as a source of entertainment rather than just a place they end up on from a shared link.
Buzzfeed’s visitors will be distributed on a very long tail so the usefulness to marketers to get their messages to people is minimal. However, it suits Buzzfeed that the industry thinks otherwise. Their content machine is a very hungry beast that needs constant feeding; if marketers pay to help it grow then this is to Buzzfeed’s advantage.
“Their entire effort is to literally get themselves a cable channel. They’ve played an interesting game: They created a brand. They’re not a tech company. They’re a real, traditional media company.”
Again, I wonder if this is sustainable? They’ll have to keep the cost of producing original stories in check while the complexity of what they are doing increases.